More than 900 men, women, and children were targeted during a wave of violence in Kenya after President Mwai Kibaki won the presidential election held on December 27, 2007, That violence resulted in 1,113 deaths, reported the Mirror. An elderly man who is only known as Joseph N., 82, remembers the ordeal all too well, claiming that he was gang raped when he refused to join in as more than 50 men raped his daughters.
Joseph stated that on January 8, 2008, a group of Kalenjin youth infiltrated his home and began raping his daughters – forcing him to watch. Not long after, they told him to join in and “rape his own daughters,” but when he refused, “They hit me with a metal bar and some teeth came off. They pulled out some of my other teeth one by one. They broke my chin.”
“They said, ‘If you don’t want to do what we are telling you, you will be our wife.’ Six boys took me aside and told me to undress. I refused. They beat me all over. My skull cracked a little. They did a very bad thing to me. They made me their wife; they made me a homosexual.”
Sources say that after the elderly man was raped, the men unclothed him and tied his feet before dumping him in a ditch.
— Daily Maverick (@dailymaverick) February 15, 2016
After Kenya’s post-election violence, Joseph and his daughters were left with physical and mental agony. One of Joseph’s daughters contracted HIV and passed away in June, 2014, according to the Human Rights Watch. And his other daughter, who was brutally beaten during the post-election attack and was shot with a poison arrow, also passed away from her injuries in May, 2015. Joseph survived the attack, but was left with chronic health issues and now has to help raise some of his grandchildren.
It was reported that not only were victims raped during Kenya’s post-election crisis, but they were brutally beaten with various objects “from pipes to bottles to guns.”
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) February 20, 2016
Other raped victims came forward with their stories, including 24-year-old Nyasiongo F., who was raped by several men alongside her 12-year-old sister. She stated that they were extremely violent with her sister because of her constant screams. One of the men reportedly hit the young child over the head with his fist with such force that left her in a comatose state for six months.
When the child awakened, Nyasiongo said she was “She is not okay mentally. She does not know how to use a toilet, and she faints often. Sometimes she gets violent and breaks things in the house. I became pregnant following the rape and I live with her and my son. We have no relative to help us. It is very hard on me.”
Another woman, Akinyi L, who is married, was also a victim of rape during Kenya’s post-election violence. She stated that she remembers at least six men forcing her and several other women into a nearby wooded area, where the men began raping them. She later became pregnant, which caused issues in her marriage.
“My husband loathed me after the rape,” Akinyl said. “Things became worse after I gave birth. He would say, ‘This child is a bush baby. You should have aborted her.’ He was not nice to the child. If he found her drinking or eating something he would just grab it.”
“He also became abusive towards me. He would tell me, ‘Take your bush child and take it where you collected it from. You are rotten and you should not sleep in my house.’ One day he came home with another woman and told me to sleep on the floor. I left him that day in 2009.”
Months after Kenya’s post-election crisis, sources say that some of the victims were compensated through an assistance program, Operation Rudi Nyumbani (Operation Return Home), where they received “transport costs, building and farming materials and 10,000 Kenyan Shillings ($100). Some were also offered 25,000 Kenyan shillings ($250) for the reconstruction of houses.”
[Image via Getty Images/Uriel Sinai]